Thursday, September 27, 2012

on losing one’s mind, and finding it again

This is how most of this week month has been:

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Out of focus. Meaning, the things that are actually deeply important to me? Uhhhhhhhh….

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What are they again? I can’t see straight.

Basically, I have spent the past month or so working too hard, and not getting enough bliss time in. Hard to believe, when it’s only a part-time job, which, I do from home. Hard to believe when I have pretty decent self-maintenance habits: I eat pretty well (hardly any crap), I run several times a week, I give myself Reiki every day, and I do at least three to five Reiki treatments on other people every week (not counting Kevin – he gets Reiki every day). I don’t know how much of this is background stress (some pretty major things are up in the air in our lives, plus some loved ones are experiencing health issues), and how much is the changing of the seasons (the onset of fall, as I’ve gotten older, gets harder and harder…), and how much is just not really taking my needs seriously.

All I know is, Tuesday there may have been an episode of brain paralysis, followed by a minor emotional meltdown. There might have been another meltdown yesterday morning, followed by extra bonus meltdown in the afternoon. Two in one day! Excellent! Last night, Kevin gently suggested to me that I – brace yourselves – take breaks more often, and go outside with the camera. Today, I finally did so.

I went from this:

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To this:

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Oh. Okay.


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I remember this.

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Bees go all in for what they want.

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Bluets don’t give up. September? “Fie!” they say.

Sumacs say, “Hold my beer and watch this shit.”

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Asters got the memo that fall colors involve orange and red, and responded with an “oh yeah?”


“Sez who?”



The tall anemone follows suit, indulging in a little light purple…


…before saying “screw it” and exploding.





Only one eyeball left on the white baneberry.

And now, for yellow.


Oleander aphids on a milkweed pod…


…and stem.




As for the tree that fell at the base of our driveway: it’s in the burn pile now. In the background, on the edge of the field, lurks the feral bathtub.


Monday, September 24, 2012

A tale of mouse butts

If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to see it, does it make a sound?
The answer is, “yes”. Yesterday afternoon Kevin and I were minding our own business up in the house when we each heard a tremendous boom. He stepped out on the deck, and I ventured out the front door. We looked at each other quizzically. And then went back to doing what we’d been doing. A few minutes later our neighbor knocked on our door. “Did you hear that big crashing noise? It was the tree at the base of your driveway.”
This beauty.
In October of 2010, I held my point and shoot in that hole and pointed up
It was bound to happen sooner or later. I’m just glad nobody was hurt.
Someone did lose their home, though:
This little sweetie, perched in a sapling right next to the stump. Our neighbors’ dogs, Baxter and Molly, could not have been more delighted at the whole affair. They each went in and out of the tree from both ends.
That’s Baxter’s butt in there. They barked at Kevin when he wacked away at it with a maul. They stared up into the sapling to salivate over the prospect of a mouse snack. Then they got even more excited by the chainsaw! OH BOY!
Not shown: Molly barking her fool head off. But the blade – due to be replaced in any case – was no match for the job. We were able to move enough loose pieces out of the way to make both the main drive, and our driveway, passable. Our neighbor’s got a tractor – always a good quality in a neighbor – and he’ll drag it away tomorrow. In the meantime…
…mousy looked on from his perch. This view of a mouse butt is actually foreshadowing today’s adventure.
So this morning, on my way to the hospital (I’m a volunteer – I give Reiki to chemo patients), a mouse suddenly appeared on my dashboard. Inside the car. Oh. Hello! I pulled over and opened the passenger door a crack. It frantically ran towards the driver’s door. I opened the driver’s door. It scurried back to the passenger side and hopped out, clinging to the edge of the door right by the mirror. And then I flicked its cute little butt with my index finger. Buh bye!

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In other news that does not involve mouse derrieres, the sumac is changing colors…
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Maggie guards the entrance to the garden shed…
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Lichens continue their colonization of Planet Boulder…
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Siberian Iris have set seed long ago, but haven’t yet released their treasures…
The view from the ridge in back of our house (trailhead’s less than 3 miles from our house): the foliage hasn’t changed yet. But it will.
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And two points to whoever can guess what this is. Hint: we’re near the woodpile.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

sunday ramblings


Fall’s definitely on its way. The milkweed pods are nowhere near opening up, but they are losing their green.

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july 24
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september 16

Bittersweet nightshade berries are so translucent, that you can make out the seeds inside them.

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Jewelweed – aka “touch me not” – flower. Loving the texture.

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cattails lose all dignity when they go to seed.

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I was aiming for the flowers of the japanese knotweed, but found this wasp instead.

And now, for the jester’s hat of the campion’s seedhead:

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there are goodies to behold inside.

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it took me a few tries to focus on the mysteries within.

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oooohhhh! another whole little world in there! I explored all this last september, too – you can see that here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

scratch and sniff frogs and origami seed baskets

Every once in a while, you need to pull the refrigerator away from the corner and clean the floor underneath it. The only remedy for having done so, is going outside with the camera. So this afternoon, we visited the little wetland across the road. The water’s low, and we only spotted one frog, and one tadpole.

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This, I believe, is a green frog (Lithobates clamitans), not to be confused with its northern cousin, the mink frog (Lithobates septentrionalis), which you can identify by its scent of rotten onions. It’s the “scratch-and-sniff” frog. See, had I known that ahead of time, think of the fun we would have had!

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Sunflowers: good for the soul.

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And now for musk mallow.

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Sweetpea refers to this as an origami seed basket.

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I defy you to come up with a better design.

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Indeed, it’s hard to improve on mother nature.